Yemen is a country classified as one of the poorest countries with a deteriorating economy. In a comparison of per capita income in the Arab countries, GRP and CIA reports indicated that Yemen ranks last among these countries, with a per capita income of about one dollar, while Qatar ranks first, with a per capita income of about 93 dollars.
The protracted armed conflict, forced displacement, deteriorating institutions, and economic stagnation exacerbated the precarious situation in the country as well as the lack of job opportunities which in turn led to high unemployment rates among the population.
Mohammed (45 years old) lives in one neighborhoods of Taiz city. He is educated, loves reading and has the spirit of an ambitious and optimistic young man, although he suffers from a disability in his exhausted body due to his exposure to a health ailment.
According to the prevailing gender roles in Yemen, the man is the breadwinner and protector of the family, so Mohammed is the breadwinner for his family and its faithful protector who never hesitates to provide its needs.
Before 2003, Mohammed owned a bus to transport passengers inside Taiz city. According to Mohammed, his financial situation was good, where the bus he owned was the only source of income through which he supports his family.
Ignorance of the consequences of treating pain, especially back spasms, using traditional manual methods, leads to the damage of many people through death or getting, paralyzed or disabled. Mohammed was one of those affected people, where he was paralyzed completely, as a result of spasm of the back nerves because of working for long hours on the bus.
Mohammed says: “I was working actively and suddenly I lost my energy.” Mohammed resorted to treatment which required a series of surgeries, which he hoped would help him get his energy back, but his hopes led to regret that his health and energy will no longer be back.
To begin treatment, Mohammed was forced to sell his bus he only has, and thus has no source of income and no health to help him find another sources of income to support his family.
Like a colorful flower whose petals are revealed by the rays of positive energy, Mohammed has an urgent desire to return and work, this desire comes from his great sense of responsibility towards himself and his family, so he decided to find himself a job opportunity that would help him to stand on his feet burdened with suffering. With small funding, Mohammed opened a stand to sell cigarettes, water and some sweets, near his house, where he continued working on his small project for long years.
“The worst humanitarian crisis in the world” This is how Yemen was called after it was known as “Happy Yemen.” After years of protracted war, the conflict in Yemen had a negative impact on all people, where the armed conflict in Yemen killed and injured tens of thousands of civilians and displaced thousands of families from their homes.
Like all Yemenis, as soon as the war broke out and the confrontations reached his neighborhood, Mohammed had his share of suffering, which began when he decided to move with his family outside the city, leaving behind his simple project in order to save their lives. "The war affected me more than my injury did" says Mohammed.
Mohammed lost his only source of income after moving to a new place and a different situation. With a spirit full of responsibility, Mohammed began to look for a job that commensurate with his health condition, but he did not find, because all works require more effort, but his health condition constituted a greater barrier. Mohammed continued to be displaced with his family until 2018, and after the confrontations in his area decreased, Mohammed decided to return to his home.
Returning to the homeland is like being born again and beginning of a new life that deserves to be lived, moment by moment. The feeling of returning after displacement gives us the dignity that the war robbed us of when it forced us to leave and escape from the death of bodies to a different and indescribable death, except that it is “more like displacement.”
Mohammed returned to his home to recover what he had lost during the period of displacement, so he decided to return to his stand, but this time he started again, with simple funding, strong determination and greater responsibility. He opened his stand again and began to work, but due to the lack of most of the goods, Mohammed was earning a few profit which made him unsatisfied, moreover, Mohammed still suffers from his injury, which makes him unable to stand too long, so he works part-time, starting in the morning until the noon and then goes back home to take the rest of his day to rest his exhausted body.
Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, and the economic deterioration resulted by the war in Yemen, many people lost their income, which made Mohammed face a new obstacle that would almost make him lose his source of income. He comments: “The current conditions and high prices have caused some confusion in my project because I sell at one price and buy at a completely different price.
Fortunately for Mohammed, with funding from CARE International, GWQ implemented the project “Strengthening Community Participation and Building the Capacities of CSOs and Youth and Women Initiatives and Activating Their Roles in Local Communities,” through which a group of CSOs and youth initiatives in Taiz governorate received small grants to implement several projects.
Rescue Development Foundation was one of the targeted organizations, which in turn implemented a project within the framework of economic empowerment for owners of suspended projects, of which Mohammed was one of the beneficiaries of this project.
The intervention of Rescue Development Foundation in Mohammed's project was to purchase the goods he needed in large quantities to enhance the financial returns that Mohammed earns from his project. Mohammed expressing his happiness: "This grant has reactivated my project, which was almost completely non-existent."
After receiving the support, Mohammed has a satisfactory source of income that enables him to live in dignity, in light of his bad health conditions.
Mohammed concludes: "I am now able to meet all my daily needs and the needs of my family, which has suffered over the past years due to my injury, war and high prices. Thank you for everything you have provided."